Tuesday night saw the launch of Craft Beer, Greece’s only hand crafted beer onto the Australian market at a function at the 89th floor of the Eureka Towers.

Brothers Paul and George Iliopoulos from beverages importer Agora Group based in Dandenong have taken on the challenge of introducing the range of Craft beers into Australia’s large but competitive alcoholic beverages market.

John Pandazopoulos MP officially launched the beer onto the Australian market at the function attended by a 100 strong crowd of hospitality industry VIP’s and die-hard beer enthusiasts.

The exclusive cocktail party held at the Eureka Tower, where Melbourne restaurateurs rubbed shoulders with ministers, celebrity chefs and well known hospitality venue owners saw the beer being launched to a very enthusiastic crowd who enjoyed the wonderful food, the distinct flavours of the beer and the glorious view of Melbourne’s skylines.

Pandazopoulos congratulated the Iliopoulos brothers for introducing the range of hand crafted beers into the Australian market.

“I am pleased at the entry of the well known Greek boutique beer Craft to the Australian market and believe its uniqueness makes it an exciting arrival that will add to Australia’s love for all things Hellenic,” he said

He thanked them for providing him with a product he can point to when his friends ask him ‘Where are the great Greek beers?”

While selling Craft beer to a Greek market in Australia may be easy, how well the Iliopoulos brothers go in selling Craft beers into the mainstream beer market will be their biggest challenge and their primary measure of success, according to Pandazopoulos.

GP Global and Agora Group Director, Paul Iliopoulos, said Microbreweries are part of an international movement that takes beer back to basics.

“Beer will be an important part of the restaurant experience and in 2010 industry reports have said that we will see the emergence of beer as an essential menu item with the pairing of beer and food, as we have seen with wine in the past, with chefs and beer sommeliers working closely to select complementary food and beer flavours.”

“The development of Craft beer reflects an alternative attitude and artisan approach to brewing that emphasizes quality, pureness of materials and methods of brewing, experimentation, innovation and full flavour and aroma brews,” Mr. Iliopoulos said.

Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Paul Iliopoulos said that the relationship with Craft had developed because: “They saw how successful we are with importing other products.”
The Iliopoulos brothers import Loux and Epsa soft drink and olive oil from Crete into Australia.

“They were interested in the Australian market because it is a very big beer market. We thought it was a winner,” Paul Iliopoulos said.

Craft beers will appeal to the growing number of beer drinkers who look for a speciality or microbrewed beer, according to Iliopoulos.

“It’s a beer for someone who loves and understands beer,” he said.

Manny Gerasimou from PhilHellene in Moonee Ponds said that he had positive experiences of selling Craft beer to his customers.

“Take up has been great,” Gerasimou responds when asked. “We find that when they try Craft beers, they keep on drinking it all night.”

Two Craft beers are currently available: the Smoked Lager and the Athens Lager.

Craft beers are currently available at Stalactites, PhilHellene, The Press Club, Hellenic Republic, the Belgian Beer Garden and Beer Deluxe.